By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
AEW Dynamite (Episode 139)
Los Angeles, California at The Forum
Aired live June 1, 2022 on TBS
[Hour One] The Dynamite opening aired and then pyro shot off on the stage while the broadcast team of Jim Ross, Excalibur, and Tony Schiavone checked in on commentary. Ross said there were 15,431 fans in attendance…
New AEW World Champion CM Punk was introduced by Justin Roberts for the six-man tag match. Punk did a stage dive off the ramp and over the barricade. He returned to the ramp and took a knee with the belt over his shoulder and then he was joined by the FTR duo of Dax Harwood and Cash Wheeler before they all headed to the ring.
Max Caster, Austin Gunn, and Colten Gunn made their entrance along with Billy Gunn and wheelchair bound Anthony Bowens. Caster rapped and said they would make their opponents pay like Amber Heard. They did the bit where the Gunns said the wrong town and then handed the mic to Bowens, who got it right…
1. AEW World Champion CM Punk and ROH Tag Team Champions “FTR” Dax Harwood and Cash Wheeler vs. Max Caster, Austin Gunn, and Colten Gunn (w/Anthony Bowens, Billy Gunn). Harwood hugged Punk and then started the match for his team. The crowd taunted the Gunns with “Ass Boys” chants. Graphics appeared on the screen to promote the previously advertised matches and segments.
The heel trio isolated Harwood for a stretch of the match. Billy Gunn threw a cheap shot punch at him from the floor while the referee was distracted. They cut to a split-screen break, which started with a Pride Month video that featured Anthony Bowens. [C]
Punk took a hot tag and then went for a springboard move, but he slipped. He got up and threw punches while showing a little frustration. A short time later, Punk hit a top rope elbow drop on Austin. Billy climbed onto the apron and distracted Punk, who was rolled up by Austin for a two count.
Punk picked up Austin and tried to powerbomb him into his father, but he came up a little short. Punk hit Austin with the GTS. FTR followed up with the Big Rig on Austin and then Harwood pinned him. Ross said it was bowling show ugly and yet he loved every minute of it.
AEW World Champion CM Punk and ROH Tag Team Champions “FTR” Dax Harwood and Cash Wheeler defeated Max Caster, Austin Gunn, and Colten Gunn in 12:00.
After the match, Punk and FTR held up their belts and played to the crowd while the broadcast team wondered who would step up and challenge Punk for the title. Excalibur said the great thing about the post pay-per-view events is that it’s always wide open.
Punk took the mic and said he’s never done drugs in his life, but he imagines this is what it feels like. Punk said he knows he has to get better and that’s what the championship is all about. Punk said he wouldn’t be here if his road to success wasn’t littered with mistakes. He called them learning moments. He said you can call him what you want either positive or negative, but you have to call him champ.
Harwood stated that his wife and daughter were in the crowd. He said that those are the only two things that mean more to him than pro wrestling. FTR recalled being attacked by Jeff Cobb and Great O Khan. Punk said they had a pay-per-view to promote and asked said show him who he has at the Forbidden Door event.
Hiroshi Tanahashi made his entrance dressed in street clothes. Punk stared down Tanahashi from the ring while holding up the AEW World Championship belt. Excalibur hyped the pay-per-view for June 26 and said Tanahashi has accepted Punk’s challenge. Ross praised Tanahashi as one of the best he’s seen in his life. Schiavone pointed out that Punk will have home turf advantage with the event being held in Chicago…
Powell’s POV: Punk had a rouging outing in the six-man tag match, but the post match promo and the reveal that he will face Tanahashi at the Forbidden Door event was fun. By the way, I’m filling in for Jake Barnett tonight. He said something about taking a flight to Newark, but I think he’ll be covering WWE Smackdown on Friday night.
MJF made his entrance in non-wrestling attire. His music was turned off as he walked to the ring to capture the loud boos from the crowd. MJF said he’s in a lot of pain after Sunday, but the people just want to hear him talk. He said he would talk, but it was Max Friedman talking. He noted that there were television executives in attendance and said it would be too bad if something happened. The crowd chanted “shut the f— up.”
MJF said it was All Friends Wrestling when the company started, but he had to write his own ticket. He said he created moment after moment for the company and still gets no respect. MJF said no one is on his level. He said everything he touches turns to gold and there’s nothing he can’t do. MJF said he’s not expected to hit home runs, he’s expected to hit grand slams and he does that on a weekly basis.
MJF said the other wrestlers get to settle for being great, but he has to be perfect. He said he’s 26 years old and the only guy who is capable of carrying the company on his back, which he said he has for months. He asked the crowd where they were over the weekend when they were calling him an unprofessional piece of shit.
MJF said all the boys in the back who want his spot can have it because he doesn’t want to be there anymore. He said the fans aren’t fans, they are uneducated marks. He said the fans don’t know shit and their opinions suck. He said fans acted like he sucks in the ring and asked if it’s because he doesn’t watch New Japan and dump people on their heads.
MJF said he’s the best in the world because he makes people feel and he doesn’t do a bunch of bullshit to get the fans there. MJF said the fans take him for granted. He said it’s not just the fans, it’s “the big man in the back too.” MJF said he’s the second biggest minute-by-minute draw in the company. He said if you don’t believe him, ask “Stat Boy Tony (Khan).”
MJF said Khan hoards all the money to bring in all the ex WWE guys that he keeps bringing in. The fans cheered. MJF asked “boss” if he would treat him better if he was a former WWE wrestler too. MJF said the problem with Khan is that he has a position of power in the wrestling company when the only position he should be assuming is behind the guardrail with all the fans.
MJF said he doesn’t want to wait until 2024. “Tony, I want you to fire me,” MJF said while looking into a camera. MJF was censored as he cussed and asked to be fired. MJF’s mic was cut. He tossed it down and the show cut to commercial… [C]
Powell’s POV: An epic rant from MJF. I believe I made out the words “f—ing mark” when he was censored. I’m not sure where they go from here, but I’m definitely looking forward to finding out. I’m surprised they didn’t advertise MJF’s promo for later in the show given what a big hook it was.
The broadcast team recapped Tanahashi accepting Punk’s challenge coming out of the break and simply moved on from the MJF segment… Johnny Elite made his entrance for his open challenge. A Miro promo aired as he spoke about how he was separated from his god and his home. He said his neck is fixed. He told his god that he no longer wants to return home, he wants to come and take yours. Miro said The Redeemer is back…
2. Miro vs. Johnny Elite. Miro was in offensive control when they cut to a PIP break a little over a minute into the match. [C] Miro continued to dominate the match and put Elite in his Game Over finisher for the win…
Miro defeated Johnny Elite in 6:00.
Powell’s POV: It’s great to see Miro back for the first time since November. He had a rough start in AEW with the gamer silliness, but he really found his groove as The Redeemer character. I remain surprised that we haven’t seen his wife, the former Lana, join him in AEW yet.
Highlights aired from the Anarchy in the Arena match from AEW Double Or Nothing…
Jericho Appreciation Society members Chris Jericho, Matt Menard, Angelo Parker, and Jake Hager made their entrance while the fans sang the “Judas” entrance theme. Once in the ring, Jericho casually said that was enough and asked for the song to be stopped. Parker boasted that their team dominated the Anarchy in the Arena match. “AEW Galaxy, appreciate us,” Parker said to a flat response.
Menard took his turn on the mic and said nobody does it better than JAS. Jericho said he knows the fans wanted to sing, but they don’t deserve it. Jericho said what they deserve are the winners of the Anarchy in the Arena match. He spoke about the punishment they took during the match.
Jericho called Eddie Kingston a psycho, which drew an Eddie chant. Jericho said Kingston brought a can of gasoline to the ring and wanted to start him on fire. “What kind of man burns another man?” Jericho asked. Funny. Jericho called Bryan Danielson a piece of trash, then pointed out that he and Hager choked him out. Jericho said Danielson wasn’t there. He also said Daniel Garcia would take out Jon Moxley in the Dynamite main event. Jericho said sports entertainers always beat pro wrestlers.
Eddie Kingston walked out with William Regal. Kingston demanded that his music stop playing. Kingston said he would fight JAS by himself. Kingston told Regal to let them know why he wants to fight them. “Blood and Guts,” Regal said in reference to AEW’s WarGames style match. Jericho said Kingston will never get Blood and Guts and had his sidekicks attack Kingston.
Ortiz entered the ring and hit Jericho with a loaded sock. Ortiz pulled out a pair of scissors and cut off some of Jericho’s hair. Ortiz and Kingston went to the stage while Jericho said his hair is worth more than Ortiz’s entire existence. A worked up Jericho granted them the Blood and Guts match, then said he would shave Ortiz’s head. Jericho called for a hair vs. hair match against Ortiz. Jericho said he would beat him, shave his head, and burn him because he’s a wizard… [C]
Powell’s POV: They took the expected direction with the Blood & Guts match announcement. And while I get that a hair vs. hair match is more appealing than a one-sided hair stipulation, it did illogical for Jericho to agree to put his hair on the line when he had the leverage and could have called for the one-sided stipulation if the babyfaces wanted the Blood and Guts match so badly.
Footage aired of Samoa Joe with a trainer while Alex Marvez tried to speak to him after Double Or Nothing. Jay Lethal showed up and fought with Joe. Satnam Singh grabbed Joe from behind and held him. Sonjay Dutt showed up and jabbed Joe with a chair. Lethal put the chair in front of Joe’s bad shoulder and then drove it into something nearby…
[Hour Two] Entrances for the ten-man tag match took place. The babyfaces entered to Jungle Boy’s entrance theme…
3. Jungle Boy, Luchasaurus, Christian Cage, Matt Hardy, and Darby Allin vs. Bobby Fish, Kyle O’Reilly, Hikuleo, Matt Jackson, and Nick Jackson (w/Brandon Cutler). Jeff Hardy came out with the babyface team. Adam Cole sat sat in on commentary. They were both originally advertised for the match, but they sat out due to injuries. Nick performed a flip dive onto a few of his opponents heading into a PIP break a few minutes into the match. [C]
Hikuleo and Luchasaurus ended up in the ring together. They did a double clothesline spot and both men tagged out. Hikuleo was sent over the top rope and nearly landed on his head, but he popped right up and caught Allin as he was going for a dive moments later. In the ring, Matt Hardy slammed O’Reilly’s head into multiple corners repeatedly while the crowd chanted “Delete.”
Hardy tried and failed to do the same to Hikuleo. After a little help from Cage, Hardy was able to put the big man down with a Twist of Fate. Hardy and Christian cleared Hikuleo from the ring. The Bucks had a Superkick Party. They set up for a BTE Trigger on Jungle Boy that was broken up by Hardy. Fish and O’Reilly hit a high/low on Hardy, and then the Bucks hit a Meltzer Driver on Jungle Boy and pinned him…
Bobby Fish, Kyle O’Reilly, Hikuleo, Matt Jackson, and Nick Jackson defeated Jungle Boy, Luchasaurus, Christian Cage, Matt Hardy, and Darby Allin in 11:50.
Powell’s POV: The big crowd-pleasing spot-fest that you knew this was going to be. I’m curious to see what the Bucks do on the Forbidden Door show.
Highlights aired of Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus beating Powerhouse Hobbs & Ricky Starks and Keith Lee & Swerve Strickland in a three-way to retain the AEW Tag Titles at Double Or Nothing…
Lexi Nair interviewed Keith Lee and Swerve Strickland. They had four guests with them that were introduced by Strickland. One of them gave Strickland a jacket. Strickland spoke about Lakers’ pairs who were stars individually and won gold together. Lee delivered the awful “swerve in our glory” line to close…
Tony Schiavone stood on the stage and introduced Athena, who said she can finally say that she’s All Elite. She called Jade Cargill a dominant champion. Athena said all streaks are made to be broken and she will be the one to break Cargill’s winning streak.
Jade Cargill called for Schiavone to cut the shit. She walked out with Stokely Hathaway, Kiera Hogan, and Red Velvet. Hathaway referred to himself as Cargill’s publicist and referred to her as a queen, a goddess, and the TBS Champion. Hathaway said he knew Athena wanted her title shot. “Not today,” Cargill said. Hogan got in the face of Athena. Anna Jay and Kris Statlander came out to side with Athena. Referees and producers ran out to keep the women apart. Excalibur hyped Wardlow as coming up next… [C]
Wardlow was shown walking backstage and it was noted that he didn’t have security with him. Once on the stage, music played and then Wardlow headed to the ring where his opponent was waiting…
4. Wardlow vs. JD Drake. Drake chopped Wardlow, who no-sold them. Wardlow clotheslined Drake. Wardlow eventually lowered the straps and executed two powerbombs and then put his foot on Drake and go the three count. Ross noted on commentary that Wardlow has bowled six perfect games…
Wardlow defeated JD Drake in 1:10.
Schiavone entered the ring to interview Wardlow. Mark Sterling came out wearing a neck brace and had a bunch of security guards with him. Sterling had a security guard serve Wardlow with papers. Wardlow said the guy doesn’t watch the product. Sterling said he was suing Wardlow on behalf of the American Arena Security Professionals. The security guard tried to leave, but Wardlow grabbed him and powerbombed him. Wardlow tore up the papers and shoved them in the security guard’s mouth…
Powell’s POV: Jake Barnett and I have actually been joking in our audio reviews about security guards suing Wardlow, so it’s funny to see it actually happen. I just hope they don’t bring in TNA’s Red Shirt Security to feud with him. Anyway, I couldn’t even make out the song they were using for Wardlow’s entrance because it was so quiet.
TNT Champion Scorpio Sky, Ethan Page, and Dan Lambert were interviewed backstage by Nair. She noted that Sky will defend the TNT Title against Dante Martin on Friday’s AEW Rampage. Sky went to snap his fingers to end the segment, but Martin showed up and said he’s going to prove that he’s better than Sky on Rampage…
Powell’s POV: The nice thing is that if Martin wins the new Los Angeles Lakers themed title belt, my fellow Minnesotan can just claim the color scheme is for the Vikings.
5. Toni Storm and Ruby Soho vs. Britt Baker and Jamie Hayter (w/Rebel). Schiavone referred to Baker as “The Queen of Harts” due to her winning the Owen Hart Cup tournament. They cut to a PIP break a couple minutes into the match while the heels had Soho isolated. [C]
Soho hit Baker with a No Future kick and got a two count. Baker just sat up and went for the Lockjaw, which Soho was able to block. Baker put Soho down with a swinging neckbreaker. Baker jawed at Storm. Hayter hit Storm and then acted apologetic even though it didn’t seem like she came all that close to Baker. Moments later, Soho hit Destination Unknown on Baker and pinned her.
Toni Storm and Ruby Soho beat Britt Baker and Jamie Hayter in 8:30.
After the match, Hayter hit Storm with the Owen Hart tournament title belt. Baker held Soho’s legs and then Hayter hit Soho with the belt… Excalibur hyped Jon Moxley vs. Daniel Garcia as coming up next… [C]
Powell’s POV: I guess they are back to teasing potential issues between Baker and Hayter again. As we’ve seen with Christian Cage and Jungle Boy, this could go on for months. The match was well received by the live crowd.
Entrances for the main event took place. Actors Vince Vaughn and Macaulay Culkin were shown separately in the crowd…
6. Jon Moxley vs. Daniel Garcia. Chris Jericho and William Regal sat in on commentary. Excalibur announced that the Blood and Guts match will take place on June 29 in Detroit, and they will hold a live Rampage and tape Battle of the Belts III on August 5 in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Moxley bled from the forehead a few minutes into the match as they fought at ringside. Garcia placed Moxley’s leg behind the ring steps and then kicked the steps heading into the final PIP break [C]
Moxley had a crimson mask coming out of the break. Garcia suplexed him from the ropes. Garcia went for a Sharpshooter, but Moxley stuffed it. Moxley slammed Garcia onto the ring steps. Back in the ring, Moxley suplexed Garcia and then hit him with elbows to the head.
Moxley went for his submission finisher, but Garcia avoided it and hit him with a series of elbow strikes. Moxley avoided Garcia’s choke hold and applied a cross arm beaker. Garcia countered into a submission hold of his own, but Moxley grabbed the bottom rope to break the hold. Moments later, Moxley hit a wicked suplex. Garcia returned the favor and then gave Moxley a piledriver for a near fall. Garcia put Moxley in a Sharpshooter. Moxley escaped, but Gacia countered into a pin for a two count.
[Overrun] Moxley dropped Garcia with a forearm and then rolled to ringside. Garcia followed and put him in a sleeper, but Moxley fell backwards onto a table. Moxley brought Garcia back inside the ring. Jericho left the broadcast table and ran to ringside. Moxley hit the Paradigm Shift while Eddie Kingston ran out and roughed up Jericho. Moxley applied the bulldog choke and got the submission win.
Jon Moxley defeated Daniel Garcia in 11:30.
Excalibur announced following matches for Friday’s live edition of AEW Rampage: The Young Bucks vs. Penta Oscuro and Rey Fenix, Kiera Hogan vs. Athena, Scorpio Sky vs. Dante Martin for the TNT Title. Excalibur also announced Hangman Page vs. David Finlay for next week’s AEW Dynamite.
A bloody Moxley told Kingston that he’s one hard guy to love, but Kingston knows he loves it. Moxley said that if they want Blood and Guts, sign him up. The broadcast team also announced Chris Jericho vs. Ortiz in the hair vs. hair match for June 15 in St. Louis, and hyped Blood and Guts for Detroit on June 29. Ross closed out the show a couple minutes past the top of the hour…
Powell’s POV: Garcia is already really good and there’s good reason to believe that he will be a star someday, but I am surprised that Tony Khan didn’t go with two current stars in the main event of his company’s first show in Los Angeles. I’m also a little surprise that we saw Moxley with a crimson mask knowing that Warner Bros. Discovery executives are in the house, but I guess it’s not like they don’t know what’s airing on their network already. It was a really good main event even if the outcome was never in question.
Overall, this was a loaded episode that peaked with the MJF promo, yet also had some good additional segments along the way. They laid out some big matches for future shows. It’s an interesting strategy rather than simply announcing matches just a week in advance, and I’m curious to see if it pays off in the ratings. Either way, I would think that it will help with ticket sales for those cities. Let me know what you thought of Dynamite by grading the show below. I will have a lot more to say in my weekly same night audio review of AEW Dynamite for Dot Net Members (including our Patreon patrons).